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Hofbibliothek, Austrian National Library. The former Court Library was created in the first half of the 18th century as a private wing of the Hofburg imperial residence. Emperor Karl VI. ordered its construction. The library was built by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach according to plans of his father, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

Court library, entrance at Josefsplatz.

The Prunksaal (ceremonial room), the heart of the Austrian National Library (State Hall), is one of the most beautiful library halls in the world. It is the biggest Baroque library in Europe.

Court library.

The impressive ceremonial room of the library is almost 80 m long and 20 m high and is crowned by a dome that is magnificently decorated with frescoes by the court painter Daniel Gran. More than 200,000 volumes are exhibited here, among them the comprehensive library of Prince Eugene of Savoy as well as one of the largest collections of Martin Luther’s writings from the Reformation Era.

Among the exhibits are two exquisite Venetian baroque globes: one for the earth and one for the sky, each with a diameter of more than one meter.

Court library, roof prunksaal.

Since 1826, the music collection contains numerous scores and first-printings of works of well-known composers, such as Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) or Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Numerous recordings such as records or CDs are kept as well. Among the music collection are also many handwritten notes of composers.

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